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Senator Scott Hutchinson

Dear Friend,

I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This e-newsletter features events and legislative activities from the session week of July 11, 2016.

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Legislation Honoring Fallen Local Firefighter Sent to Governor

Legislation that includes language I introduced to honor a local firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty received final legislative approval this week and was sent to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

House Bill 835, as amended with the language of my Senate Bill 1315, designates the State Route 4010 bridge over Sugar Creek in Sugarcreek Borough, Venango County as the “Lieutenant Andrew J. White Memorial Bridge.” White, a 12-year veteran of the Rocky Grove Fire Department, died when he was trapped during a January 2001 mobile home fire. He was 27 years old.

This fitting memorial is for the White family from our entire community. But it is also a tribute to all those who put their lives on the line for us each day. We must never forget the dangers that our local responders face when they respond to an emergency and we have a duty to honor the memory of those who make the ultimate sacrifice.

Legislature Sends Budget-Associated Bills to Governor

This week the General Assembly finalized and sent to the Governor all of the various bills associated with the 2016-17 Fiscal Year budget to complement the spending plan (Senate Bill 1073) that the Governor allowed to become law without his signature at midnight, Monday night.

Legislation to Establish Restricted Fund for ATV Activities Sent to Governor

Legislation that would ensure that funds received through the registration, certification and enforcement of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Pennsylvania are used specifically to support ATV activities received final approval and was sent to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

Senate Bill 648 requires that monies generated through ATV-related operations are placed in a restricted account to be used for a variety of purposes including the construction and maintenance of ATV trails and acquisition of equipment, supplies and interests in land.

Currently, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) does not separate expenditures related to ATV and snowmobile operations. As a result, these funds are being disproportionately allocated between user groups. While ATV operations contribute $1.4 million of the $1.6 million in the current fund, 80 percent of the total funding is allocated to expansion of snowmobile trails.

Nine additional bills received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor.

House Bill 325 clarifies and updates the Auctioneer Licensing and Trader Assistant Registration Act and eliminates the Auction House license.

Senate Bill 533 establishes a uniform procedure for the disposition of contraband left in the possession of probation and parole agencies.

Senate Bill 514 amends the Generic Equivalent Drug Law to provide for the substitution of an interchangeable biological product for a brand name biologic.

House Bill 806 amends the Clean and Green law to prohibit the application of use values that result in assessments higher than fair market value.

House Bill 871 allows for the de-titling of vehicles which are recycled by a scrap metal processor.

House Bill 967 establishes an agricultural pilot program for industrial hemp research.

Senate Bill 1227 transfers the responsibilities of the Public Employee Retirement Commission with regard to pension legislation to the Independent Fiscal Office and the Office of the Auditor General.

Senate Bill 1221 reforms the Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.

Senate Bill 1267 enhances the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Municipal Signal Partnership Program known as Green Light-Go.

Senate Passes Measure Expanding Nurse Practitioners’ Authority

The Senate approved a bill this week that would amend the state’s Professional Nursing Law to provide for the licensure of certified nurse practitioners by the State Board of Nursing.

Currently, nurse practitioners must be affiliated with, and pay a fee to, a physician. Under Senate Bill 717 nurse practitioners would still be required to practice for 3 years and 3,600 hours under a collaborative agreement with two physicians. After completing the transition-to-practice period, nurse practitioners could have full practice authority without the affiliation requirement.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The Senate approved and sent to the House two additional bills this week.

House Bill 568 amends the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act providing for the review of updated sections of codes. The bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

Senate Bill 1229 addresses the process used by the Department of Corrections prior to the closure of a state prison and corrects technical issues related to the distribution of Pennsylvania Breeding Funds.

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